Monday, February 23, 2015

Earring Monday ~ Weeks 5, 6, 7, 8

Yep - I missed a deadline while in Tucson - so - here I am catching up with 4 weeks of earrings...

First up ~ I also participate in Andrew Thornton's Allegory Gallery Design Challenges. About a month ago, we had the Desert Sands Challenge .Here's my post for that. I finally put together a pair of earrings with some great teardrops from that kit.

I love to take classes and learn new techniques when I visit Tucson for the gem shows. This year was no different. I took a torch enameling class from Joni Kisro at her studio.

We learned how to use Kevin Potter's hydraulic press and pancaked dies to shape earring components before enameling. I am in love with big tools!!!
I love the idea of transforming metal and adding color.
We were able to press out shapes for 12 pairs of earrings. Each pair could have an enameled shape and a back plate.

After "flame painting" these, I decided the colors were too pretty to hide behind anything!

I absolutely love these elongated hearts! One of the dangers of torching outside is that nature sometimes does unexpected things.  Can you find the the fried fly wing?

I know there's definitely more enameling in my future!

This last pair I designed for a friend who asked for something simple to go with her royal blue Mother of the Bride gown. Understated and elegant...

Thanks so much, Sarajo Wentling for encouraging me to take on this challenge.
Please visit her blog for the other participants!

See you in two weeks with more earrings!

Meet My New Friend...

Do you love a good challenge?
Do you like to meet new, creative people?

I do!  
My latest new friend is Gloria Allen. 
We were matched up as partners for the Bead Peeps Swap and Hop. We have to send each other beads, a clasp and a focal, with at least one piece artisan crafted.

If you really want to learn about Gloria you have to read this heartfelt blogpost
Because I can't give you any better insight than Gloria, herself, does!

Isn't this necklace stunning????
It's obvious that Gloria is inspired by Vintage and loves pinks, lilacs and pearls. 

So my challenge is to decide if I will force her to go completely outside the box or allow her to work within her comfort zone. 
Yeah ~ that's the teacher in me speaking.  
(It's called working within the "zone of proximal development" ~ provide just enough challenge to encourage growth.)

Don't worry, Gloria, I have some great ideas roaming around in my head.
You and everyone else will have to wait to see what I come up. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Desert Sands Challenge ~ at last

And here it is…
The long awaited Desert Sands Challenge post!
Thank you to Andrew Thornton for hosting and having patience with my tardiness.

I actually did finish my pieces while travelling to Tucson for the gem shows, but had difficulty photographing them without “busts”.

It’s always fun to get a box in the mail from Andrew. This time was no exception. I fell in love with the bronze, gold and ivory hues in this kit.

Not being a bead weaver, I tend to ignore those tiny little beads in the kit. This time I decided to meet them head on and string a multi-strand necklace. The silk strung bead strands and chain with wire-wrapped glass were gathered in Vintaj brass cones and connected with my handcrafted hook and eye clasp.

The irregular metallic glass bead told me it wanted to be a clasp. I used Parawire’s smokey quartz to crochet a choker. The cone-shaped etched glass bead adds a fun dangle to the clasp.

There are lots more great components left for earrings, bracelets, etc. And this great pendant crafted by Andrew.
Can’t wait to play with them!

Please check out the other challenge participants.
On Andrew Thornton's blog:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Desert Sands Delay

If you are looking for the Desert Sands Challenge, I hope to post later today. 
We left earlier than expected for our road trip to Tucson. 
Since I'm the passenger, I have plans to work. 
Here's a sneak peak ...